Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wash your hands often...

I am sure you would have received a lot of emails stating hand wash is the most brilliant thing you can do to save yourself from the dreaded, deadly Swine flu attack. I also received a lot of emails stating the same. After a major NDTV report, my office facilities department had been nice enough to install dispensers with liquid hand sanitizers just outside the main door. We could use it to keep our hands free of germs, more specifically, the Swine viruses. The alochol-based agent works for four hours, after which you need you cleanse your hands once again. [ I can't help recalling how a friend commented: "If we get to drink some of these it probably will keep the interiors anti-viral and anti-microbial too :) Why rub our hands so often with a little of the gel?"]

Practically, it is not possible to keep your hands germ free all the time unless you wear disposable gloves. If you imagine everyone in a software company wearing paper gloves, you'll begin to wonder if you are in a hospital or an IT work desk. That thought aside, I also started using the sanitizer every day- morning, noon and evening.

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, I saw a garbage truck and wanted to keep off it. Afterall, there is no point in sanitizing your hands every chance you get, and then walking very close to the garbage truck, is what my mind said. Then, I remembered how my nose was covered with the scarf ( Thanks to the dust in Old Madras Road, Bangalore, I started this practice six months ago..) and I can stop worrying about the truck. Now, that self is safe ( I agree, we are all involuntarily selfish) I continued walking. On an impulse, I turned to look at the worker who was taking the garbage from a pile with his bare hands and loading it on to the truck. His companion was using an iron holder to take away heavy, leafy, papery categories of the garbage.( !!!!!! There are many more categories probably, but this is what I saw...). When whatever he tried to pick up, fell off the holder, he used his bare hands to pick them up and load into the truck.

Look at the contrast : The corporates provide sanitizers for its employees on account of health care. The employees in these closed air-conditioned offices spend all their time in front of a computer. 

On the roads, the workers who help to keep the city clean, amidst all the risks of germs and potential illnesses, are not even provided gloves and masks. Very strange!!!! Coming to think of it, these people may not even be able to afford the medical cost incurred today for illnesses as simple as the common cold. Medicines are so expensive. Don't you think, it is more of a pressing need to keep these  workers healthy and happy? They are the ones who spend long hours on the road, are subjected to the harsh pollution hazards, and strive so hard for the benefit of the community.

Whether these cleaning services are privatized or managed by the government, their employers clearly didnt care about their employees' health. If, for an argument you say, the employer would have given them all these accessories to protect themselves and the workers didnt use it probably, I would say, the employer didnt ensure that the workers took care. 

Either they follow rules or they are sacked at the blow of a whistle. That should be the rule for people who cannot follow rules when the risk involved is a Life or Death question.

Leaves me with a 'But Why???' question, anyways.


Videhi Visali said...

A noble question indeed..why?

SK said...

First reason for this is not having proper awareness.. let it be bangalore, chennai or bombay, people working in that level is not having proper awareness about their health and related problems.

Secondly, as you said and in koudamani's slang.. 'ithu ennada thanga changali kazhuthula pOttu thuru thurunukittu....', Our fellow friends are not comfortable in their work with gloves. No proper practice. This applies not only in road but also in university labs, construction work and company production etc., etc.,

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